These span experimental design, research conduct/ethics, science communication, team working, core research skills for clinicians, communication of purpose and impact of the research to policymakers, the public and others.
In addition, many CTU staff spend substantial time working in the countries in which our trials are conducted, getting to know local staff, supporting knowledge exchange visits and providing informal advice and support as well as formal mentoring. We regularly submit funding applications for research capacity building in low middle income countries. Within our trials, the ethos is to adopt the ‘train the trainer’ model and support overseas operational staff to become trainers.
MRC Clinical Trials Unit offer a number of short courses throughout the year, in order to ensure that staff working on clinical trials are properly trained.
The new MRC CTU Capacity Strengthening Hub was launched at the end of January 2023.
The aim of the Hub is to strengthen clinical trials capacity of our partners and other organisations doing trials in lower- and middle-income countries. The Hub is free for anyone to access and will target individuals and organisations working on trials and observational studies globally.
The Hub will provide resources on the design, conduct, analysis, and knowledge transfer and exchange for randomised controlled trials, observational studies, and meta-analyses. We will also advertise new training opportunities and short courses.
If you have any questions about the hub, please email the team.
The Unit hosts numerous visitors from clinical trial units and teams across the globe. We consider this a priority in building domain expertise and leadership. Visits are tailored to the needs of the individual and their team. In addition, our staff often spend time with partner organisations in low-middle-income countries to support knowledge exchange.
Since 2019, we are hosting summer placements as part of In2ScienceUK. This programme tackles the national challenge of educational inequality and the STEM shortage by providing young people from low-income backgrounds with the skills, placement opportunities, and confidence to successfully progress to exciting STEM degrees and careers.
We take part of it by hosting two students for one to two weeks during the summer, who will have the opportunity to meet with staff to learn more about the different aspects of designing a clinical trial. The students work alongside researchers and professionals to design a clinical trial. This placement gives students practical experience and the opportunity to get advice from our staff about different science degrees and careers in science, and get advice they may not receive at school or at home.